Teacher Pages


NYA Film Series Continues with “Kombit”

The Wild Soul Words film series at North Yarmouth Academy (NYA) continues with a showing of the film “Kombit” on Wednesday, April 6, at 7:00 pm in the NYA Savage Middle School Community Room (172 Main Street, Yarmouth). This event is free and open to the public.

kombit“Kombit – The Cooperative” takes place in Haiti, once known as the richest agricultural country in the Caribbean. Decades of decline have taken their toll on Haiti’s people, and Haiti has been wracked by instability and natural disasters. Today the country is 98% deforested with little of its once prosperous agricultural industry enduring. When Timberland commits to creating a sustainable intervention in Haiti that will lead to 5 million trees in 5 years, they work to find partners that understand the harsh realities of aid work but share the vision to build something sustainable. Over the course of 5 years, we follow Timberland’s support of a nascent partnership between a Haitian agronomist and a former NGO leader who commit to empowering communities of farmers to plant millions of trees while improving their crop yields. As the end of Timberland’s financial support approaches, project leaders race to develop new markets and opportunities for Haitian farmers that will endure and ensure a sustainable, greener future.

The films in this series are all focused on the outdoors, spirituality, writing, and adventure. Future films will include a documentary about two Canadian biologists following a caribou herd in the Arctic, and a documentary about the recreation of an Alaskan voyage. Dates are to be determined.

North Yarmouth Academy is an independent, college preparatory, coeducational school for toddlers to students in grade twelve. Since 1814, NYA has fostered integrity, character and intellect in its students. For more information, please contact NYA at 207-847-5423 or visit our website at nya.org.

NYA Student Writer Nationally Recognized

ScholasticAwards-featureOn March 14, Scholastic announced its national medalists for the 2016 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Congratulations to Afton Morton ’20 (South Freeport) who earned a Silver Medal for her short story “Playthings of Fear.” This year, nearly 320,000 works of art and writing were initially submitted for the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Only the top 1% was recognized at the national level.

This program year, more than 2,200 of the most talented teens from the United States, Washington D.C., and American schools abroad received regional recognition. Morton won three Maine Regional Gold Key Awards earlier this year. Two awards were in the short story category for “Commensalism in Humanity” and “Playthings of Fear,” and one award was in the flash fiction category for “Under the World of Hurt.” Morton was one of nine Maine students to have their work judged on the national level.

“I usually don’t like to share my writing, so I was hesitant at first about submitting things to a contest. However, I am so glad that I did! I love writing, so it’s amazing to see that one of my pieces got a silver key. I’m really proud but, at the same time, sort of stunned that I was recognized,” said Morton.

Regional Gold Key works were judged nationally by an impressive panel of creative-industry experts to receive Gold, Silver, American Visions & Voices, Portfolio Silver with Distinction, or Portfolio Gold Medals.

North Yarmouth Academy is an independent, college preparatory, coeducational school for toddlers to students in grade twelve. Since 1814, NYA has fostered integrity, character and intellect in its students. For more information, please contact NYA at 207-847-5423 or visit our website at nya.org.


NYA Student Represents Maine in Washington D.C.

jb-01School vacations are not necessarily for putting your feet up for many North Yarmouth Academy (NYA) students. Case in point, senior Julia Blackwell (Woolwich) spent a week of her March break attending the United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) in Washington D.C. The USSYP “is an intensive week-long educational experience and scholarship sponsored by the United States Senate for outstanding high school students who are interested in pursuing careers in public service.” Blackwell, who currently sits on NYA’s Executive Council and serves as senior class vice president, aspires to pursue a career in the FBI fighting human trafficking.

After a six-part application and a speech in Augusta to a panel of judges, Blackwell was chosen as one of Maine’s two delegates to represent the state at the USSYP. She was one of two students selected from each state, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Education Activity who received an in-depth view of the inner workings of all three branches of the federal government in action. A highlight of the trip, of which there were many, was a visit to the White House where they met President Barack Obama who spoke to the group of 104 for over an hour. One other speaker left a bigger impression on Blackwell, however. “My experience was something that is still indescribable to me. The people who spoke to us were successful and driven, some people who I never thought I would get to meet, like my long-time role model Justice Ginsberg.”

jb-03Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and President Obama topped the long list of speakers the delegates had the chance to meet over the week. Others the group met included Secretary of the Senate, Julie Adams and Parliamentarian of the Senate, Elizabeth Macdonough. CEO of the Newseum, Jeffery Herbst, spoke about the 24-hour news cycle that society is now exposed to. They also heard from German Ambassador Peter Wittig and attended the Annual Senate Reception where they could all meet with representatives from their home states.

jb-02The USSYP delegates toured the nation’s capital with VIP status. Most notable for Blackwell was “nerding out” at NASA where they saw a new telescope currently under construction. At Mount Vernon, they laid a wreath on George Washington’s casket and later in the week took part in a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. They attended private performances of The Old Guard Drum Corps and the U.S. Marine Corps Band Brass Quintet. In the JFK Center for Performing Arts, the National Symphony Orchestra treated them all to a world premiere performance of a new song.

“All in all,” says Blackwell, “looking back on the week, I took away many close friends, a huge network for my future, and the revitalization of my passion for politics in addition to affirming my plans to pursue a career in public service.”

The scholarship awarded by the USSYP will help Blackwell on her journey as she attends Colgate University this fall.

North Yarmouth Academy is an independent, college preparatory, coeducational school for toddlers to students in grade twelve. Since 1814, NYA has fostered integrity, character and intellect in its students. For more information, please contact NYA at 207-847-5423 or visit our website at nya.org.

NYA Junior to Attend Summer Program at Jackson Labs

Jackson_LabNorth Yarmouth Academy (NYA) junior Kiersten Marr (Falmouth) was selected to participate in the Summer Student Program at The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine. Admission is competitive, and students of all backgrounds are selected for this ten-week program. Marr is one of 46 students selected from over 950 applicants from across the country.

The Jackson Laboratory designed the program to help students understand the nature of research and emphasizes methods of discovery and communication of knowledge. Under the guidance of a mentor, Marr will be integrated into an ongoing research program where she will develop and implement her own independent research project. Specifically, she will be working in the biological and biomedical sciences as applied to genetics.

Marr, who aspires to be a research scientist, says, “This is a great opportunity for me to gain experience in the field, while enjoying the beauty of Bar Harbor. It means a lot to be able to spend the summer getting hands-on experience in a field I am interested in while working under the mentorship of distinguished researchers.”

Marr’s Upper School science teacher and advisor, Barbara Farrell, is as excited as she is proud, “I am thrilled that Kiersten will have this amazing opportunity. She will be working with world class scientists and living with other interns who are primarily college or graduate students.” At the end of the summer, students will present their findings to researchers, peers, and parents.

North Yarmouth Academy is an independent, college preparatory, coeducational school for toddlers to students in grade twelve. Since 1814, NYA has fostered integrity, character and intellect in its students. For more information, please contact NYA at 207-847-5423 or visit our website at nya.org.

NYA Adds STEM Diploma Distinction

stem-featureNorth Yarmouth Academy (NYA) now offers three diplomas with distinction from which students can choose a course of study. The newest offering is a Diploma with Distinction in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (or STEM). The STEM distinction joins the Distinction in Music: Performance, Entrepreneurship, & Community and the Distinction in Global Citizenship.

The NYA Diploma with Distinction in STEM provides a framework for students to build foundational skills in preparation for STEM-related college studies and beyond. Recognizing that STEM fields range from all branches of engineering to environmental and medical scientific research to computer programming and technology, the STEM diploma distinction is designed to allow students to follow their passion while learning how all STEM disciplines are linked and mutually functional. NYA students exploring their interest in STEM-related studies will benefit from a new innovation lab scheduled to be in place by the fall of 2016. Fundraising efforts are ongoing for this project.

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NYA Announces The Kauffmann Program

kauffmann-featureNorth Yarmouth Academy (NYA) is pleased to announce the launch of the Kauffmann Program in Environmental Writing and Wilderness Exploration. The program seeks to preserve and extend the legacy of NYA Trustee John Kauffmann, a neighbor and friend of NYA who had a lifelong passion for public lands and wilderness conservation, and who played an instrumental role in the passage of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act and in the establishment of the Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve. The program will kick off in the fall of 2016.

This new program is the brainchild of NYA’s visual and performing arts chair Ian Ramsey and grew out of an environmental writing class he taught last year culminating in a student kayaking trip in the backcountry of Alaska’s Glacier Bay. “For years when I have traveled to Alaska, I would meet people who knew John Kauffmann, and it was always a pleasure to talk with him about his passion for the environment. This seems like a great way to honor his legacy,” says Ramsey. The Kauffmann Program hopes to do just that by educating students and the larger community about the importance of wilderness and nature. With a focus on environmental thinking, writing, and Alaskan wilderness travel, the program is intended to create opportunities for NYA students, high school students across Maine, and the larger community to acknowledge the importance of wilderness conservation and environmental issues. The Kauffmann Program fulfills and supports NYA’s mission to develop a “concern for the larger community and appreciation for the natural environment.”

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First Ever Broomball Tournament to Benefit Make-A-Wish Maine

broomball-post-webemWe want you! Get together with 4 of your friends and join in the fun!!

What is Broomball?  It is a game played on the ice in sneakers, not skates!  Participants will need helmets, elbow pads, and shin pads, and should expect to do a lot of slipping, sliding, and laughing!  Brooms and ball will be provided!  Male, female, and co-ed teams welcome!  There will be Elementary, Middle School, High School, and Adult divisions.  Teams should register by Monday, March 21 , 2016.

Date:  Saturday, March 26, 2016 (the last day that there will be ice at Travis Roy Arena this winter!)

  • Elementary and Middle School:  8 am – 12:00
  • High School and Adults:  12:30 – 4:30 pm

Where:  Travis Roy Ice Arena, North Yarmouth Academy

Cost:  $10/per player (5 players/team); 100% of the proceeds will go to Make-A-Wish of Maine

(Cash or checks made out to Make-A-Wish of Maine can be sent to Heidi Grant, North Yarmouth Academy, 148 Main Street, Yarmouth, ME 04096.)

To Register a Team, email Heidi Grant, NYA Make-A-Wish Faculty Advisor, (hgrant@nya.org), with the number and ages of players. Download and print the appropriate waiver (age 18 & up and under age 18  – one waiver per player, please!). Bring the completed signed waivers on the day of the tournament. The tournament schedule will be distributed the week prior to the tournament; click for broomball guidelines/rules. If you have any questions, please call Heidi Grant at 207.838.7333.

NYA AP Art Students Exhibiting Work in Portland

ap-art2North Yarmouth Academy (NYA) Advanced Placement (AP) art students produced an art show entitled Chemical Imagination on display February 22 to 26 at Vestibule594 (594 Congress Street, Portland, Maine). An opening reception will be held on Friday, February 26 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Drinks and refreshments will be provided.

ap-art1The show features art from Leona Guo (Yarmouth), Bairu Chen (Raymond), Acacia Bright (Freeport), Morganne Elkins (Edgecomb), and Sonia Lin (Topsham).

North Yarmouth Academy is an independent, college preparatory, coeducational school for toddlers to students in grade twelve. Since 1814, NYA has fostered integrity, character and intellect in its students. For more information, please contact NYA at 207-847-5423 or visit our website at nya.org.


NYA Boys Ice Hockey #2 Seed in NEPSAC Holt Conference Playoff

NYA Boys Ice HockeyNorth Yarmouth Academy (NYA) has a long and storied hockey tradition. From 1960 to the 2004-2005 season, the Panthers competed in the Class A division of the Maine Principals Association (MPA). After 45 years the school’s established hockey program entered the Prep League ranks by joining the New England Prep School Athletic Conference (NEPSAC), debatably the best high school hockey league in the country and a top college development league. NEPSAC players are heavily recruited by junior and NCAA coaches. This decision came with mixed reviews from the local hockey community. The biggest criticism was, “They will never be able to compete.”

Four years later in the 2008-2009 season, the Panthers disproved this theory by having a winning season and making a run in the NEPSAC Division II playoffs, only to fall short in the semi-finals. Since then, the critics have returned as the results have paled in comparison. Coaching staff turnover hurt recruiting and performance. NYA’s hockey spotlight faded as successes came few and far between.

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NYA Hosts Parent Workshop: Reducing Sexism and Violence

B2M-featureNorth Yarmouth Academy (NYA) is hosting a parent workshop with Maine Boys to Men on Wednesday, March 2 at 6:30 p.m. in the Middle School Community Room (172 Main Street, Yarmouth). The workshop is an introduction to Maine Boys to Men’s Reducing Sexism and Violence Program (RSVP). The 90-minute workshop will take parents through select RSVP activities and discussions and provide an opportunity to discuss sexism and violence prevention in schools. This event is presented by the NYA Parents’ Association, and it is free and open to the public.

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